Despite sporting the same base processor since the introduction of the S6 in the 2020 Series 6, the Apple Watch is rumored to be on the brink of a much-anticipated upgrade.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, shared via his newsletter Discord channel, the forthcoming Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to showcase a brand new “processor”, with the S9 system-on-chip’s (SoC) CPU likely to be based on the A15 chip initially seen in the iPhone 13 range.
While Apple has updated the SoC hardware in the Apple Watch models succeeding the Series 6, these updates have primarily added functionality as opposed to CPU enhancements. For example, the S8 chip in the Series 8, Ultra, and the latest SE watches features an updated accelerometer and gyroscope, yet is largely identical to the S6 in other respects.
Although specific details remain elusive, there are some anticipated improvements. The S8 chip is currently manufactured using an older 7-nanometer process, whereas the S9 chip is expected to utilize a denser and more efficient 5nm or 4nm process. This transition could potentially enhance performance and extend battery life. Apple typically unveils new Apple Watch models in September.
As for the other features of the Apple Watch Series 9, it is expected to be a relatively incremental update. Gurman previously suggested that no significant design or feature changes are on the horizon. Features like Bluetooth 5.3 support, seen in the Ultra model, may be included, but these may not provide substantial incentive for an upgrade for Series 7 or newer owners.
However, for those with older models, the promise of a faster processor, coupled with other recent refinements, could be a compelling reason for an upgrade.